National Green Hydrogen Mission: Catching the bus

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The Union Cabinet approved a ?19,744 crore National Green Hydrogen mission.

Do you Know?Hydrogen is a key industrial fuel that has a variety of applications including the production of ammonia (a key fertilizer), steel, refineries and electricity.However, all of the hydrogen manufactured now is the so-called ‘black or brown’ hydrogen produced from coal. Grey hydrogen is produced from natural gas while ‘Blue’ hydrogen is from fossil fuel sources where the ensuring carbon emitted is captured via carbon-capture processes. Green hydrogen is when hydrogen is produced via electrolysis, the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen with electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as solar or wind. Green hydrogen currently accounts for less than 1% of global hydrogen production due to it being expensive to produce. 

National Green Hydrogen Mission

  • The Mission will “facilitate demand creation, production, utilisation and export of Green Hydrogen,”
  • It aims to make India a ‘global hub’ for using, producing and exporting green hydrogen.
  • It aims to incentivise the commercial production of green hydrogen and make India a net exporter of the fuel. 
  • The mission has laid out a target to develop green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonne) per annum.
    • This is alongside adding renewable energy capacity of about 125 GW (gigawatt) in the country. 


  • There are two umbrella sub-missions under the program.
    • the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT), which will fund the domestic manufacturing of electrolyzers and produce green hydrogen. 
    • Support pilot projects in emerging end-use sectors and production pathways.
      • States and regions capable of supporting large-scale production and/or utilisation of hydrogen will be identified and developed as Green Hydrogen Hubs. 


  • It can be used to generate electricity or as fuel in industries or vehicles.
  • It will entail the decarbonisation of the industrial, mobility and energy sectors;
    • reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock;
    • developing indigenous manufacturing capabilities; 
    • creating employment opportunities; and developing new technologies such as efficient fuel cells.


  • Green hydrogen development is still in the nascent stages globally and while India can take the lead in being a major producer, it doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure yet.
    • Optimizing plant designs and end-to-end green hydrogen systems can be costly and incredibly complex. 
  • Limited specialized workforce.
  • Green hydrogen is also incredibly challenging to store and transport.
    • It is a highly flammable gas with a low volumetric density, requiring investment in specialized pipelines and carriers.
  • High energy losses. Green hydrogen loses a considerable amount of energy at every point in the supply chain
  • Reduced knowledge on optimum design and return on investment, thus limiting bankability.

Suggestions and Way Ahead 

  • Green hydrogen, produced through a clean process, is rightly seen as the most dependable source of energy of the future. 
  •  For India to realise ambitions, it must strengthen its small manufacturing and allied enterprises infrastructure along with large industries.
  • India needs to announce incentives to convince enough users of industrial hydrogen to adopt green hydrogen.
  •  It needs to develop supply chains in the form of pipelines, tankers, intermediate storage and last-leg distribution networks as well as put in place an effective skill development programme to ensure that lakhs of workers can be suitably trained to adapt to a viable green hydrogen economy


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